Patterico's Pontifications

9/30/2010

Grayson Gets a Taste of His Own Medicine

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:16 pm

Good stuff.

O’Donnell Put Oxford on an Application Before — Plus ZoomInfo Says It Knows Who Set Up O’Donnell’s Profile

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:21 pm

Talking Points Memo reports:

TPM just spoke with a Claremont official who reviewed O’Donnell’s 2002 application file. Ryan Williams, who oversees the Lincoln Fellowship program, told us that O’Donnell lists a certificate from Oxford University on her resume. “She did have a line about Oxford,” he said as he looked at her file, which also included an essay and letters of recommendation.

Williams told us the item on O’Donnell’s resume reads:

Oxford University, Oxford, UK
Certificate awarded Summer 2001

But O’Donnell did not attend Oxford. She received a certificate from a summer seminar program called the Phoenix Institute, which was housed on the Oxford campus. A Phoenix spokesman told the Washington Post’s Greg Sargent the use of Oxford was “misleading.”

Williams said there is a subtitle in a smaller font listing the program in full as the Phoenix Institute Summer Program: “Post Modernism in the New Millennium.”

Sargent reported that Chris Fletcher, who oversaw the course O’Donnell took, said the course wasn’t overseen by Oxford at all.

I’m disappointed with the poor quality of the TPM story, which does not make it clear whether the words “Phoenix Institute Summer Program” were mentioned on the resume. Even if they were, it certainly sounds like proof that O’Donnell tried to pass herself off as having attended Oxford before the LinkedIn and ZoomInfo profiles were found.

Speaking of the ZoomInfo profile — which ZoomInfo claimed earlier today had been updated by O’Donnell herself — Ben Sargent reports:

I’ve got some more information on what happened from ZoomInfo, and it seems to strongly undercut O’Donnell’s claim that her LinkedIn bio making the same Oxford fib was unauthorized or unknown to her.

To back up: This morning, the Democratic National Committee pointed out that O’Donnell is also described in a ZoomInfo entry as having achieved a “certificate” in “Post Modernism in the New Millennium” from the “University of Oxford.” The Zoom Info entry was labled, “user verified.”

ZoomInfo, which has spent the day looking into this, has sent over a statement detailing what happened with this profile. According to the company, O’Donnell’s profile was claimed in 2008 through something called a “double opt-in process.”

The company says this process cannot function without “response to a verification e-mail message.” ZoomInfo is not releasing that email address, citing privacy. But here’s the rub: The company is confirming that they have identified the emailer:

We can say, however, that the email address was not of an anonymous nature — that is, the address was not from a personal free email service and contained identifying information. ZoomInfo’s Terms of Service require users to agree that they will not “impersonate any person or entity or falsely state or otherwise misrepresent” their affiliation with a person or entity.

The company is also confirming that O’Donnell — or whoever claimed the profile — would have had ample opportunity to change any wrong info, and that after it was claimed, it could not be changed any other way:

All persons who claim profiles on ZoomInfo have the opportunity to review, update, delete and change information that ZoomInfo has compiled from other sources. In addition, persons who claim their profiles may add information of their choosing, including employment and educational history. All employment history (titles and companies), educational background, etc. is “locked” when the registrant claims the profile. Our automated system does not add any new titles, companies or educational records to claimed profiles, even if we find new Web articles and update a profile with these references.

In other words, ZoomInfo knows who claimed this profile and verified the information. And in response to my questions, it’s not disputing the idea that it was claimed by O’Donnell or someone apparently authorized by her to do so. Keep in mind: The company could say this wasn’t done by O’Donnell or someone authorized by her without violating the poster’s privacy.

Again, this is not proof that it was O’Donnell. But it’s sure looking like the way to bet, isn’t it?

Why does any of this matter? Well, if she flat-out lied when asked if she created these profiles, you have to decide for yourself whether that makes a difference to you. You will have to make that decision remembering that she gave a radio interview where she fibbed about having tied Biden in two counties in Delaware in 2008 (after having falsely claimed on the campaign trail that she had won those counties). And so forth.

To some, it will not matter. One of my commenters said today that he would support her as long as she is not an axe murderer. Apparently, a serial liar who is not an axe murderer would get his stamp of approval over Coons — who, while there is no reason to believe he is actually a Marxist, is certainly fully in favor of Obama’s socialistic policies.

As for me, I hate weasels. If O’Donnell turns out to be a weasel on this — and it’s sure looking that way — I’m done. I’m not sacrificing my credibility to support a serial liar. I wouldn’t support Coons either, of course. I would just declare a pox on all their houses.

Some were ready to lose the seat if it was necessary to make a point about needing conservative candidates. OK, fine. I’m ready to lose the seat if it is necessary to make a point about needing candidates who aren’t lying weasels. And if it is necessary to make a point that, in the future, candidates need to be vetted.

Will this matter to Delaware voters? Hard to say . . .

FLASHBACK: Remember when Joe Biden exaggerated his school record?

Mr. Biden looked at his questioner and said: ”I think I have a much higher I.Q. than you do.”

He then went on to say that he ”went to law school on a full academic scholarship – the only one in my class to have a full academic scholarship,” Mr. Biden said. He also said that he ”ended up in the top half” of his class and won a prize in an international moot court competition. In college, Mr. Biden said in the appearance, he was ”the outstanding student in the political science department” and ”graduated with three degrees from college.” Comments on Assertions

In his statement today, Mr. Biden, who attended the Syracuse College of Law and graduated 76th in a class of 85, acknowledged: ”I did not graduate in the top half of my class at law school and my recollection of this was inacurate.”

As for receiving three degrees, Mr. Biden said: ”I graduated from the University of Delaware with a double major in history and political science. My reference to degrees at the Claremont event was intended to refer to these majors – I said ‘three’ and should have said ‘two.’ ” Mr. Biden received a single B.A. in history and political science.

”With regard to my being the outstanding student in the political science department,” the statement went on. ”My name was put up for that award by David Ingersoll, who is still at the University of Delaware.”

In the Sunday interview, Mr. Biden said of his claim that he went to school on full academic scholarship: ”My recollection is – and I’d have to confirm this – but I don’t recall paying any money to go to law school.” Newsweek said Mr. Biden had gone to Syracuse ”on half scholarship based on financial need.”

What a buffoon. And yet Delaware elected him, time and time again. So maybe this kind of thing doesn’t matter to the voters.

Which hardly means it’s the standard we want to set for our own candidates.

But if it matters to voters that a candidate tells lies, it’s not the fault of the people who report the truth. It’s the fault of the candidate who tells the lies.

P.S. Perhaps you think a conservative blog should never mention anything negative about a conservative political candidate — even if the negative information suggests the candidate may be embarrassing due to serial dishonesty or other disturbing qualities. If you are the type who cannot bear to read a blog that would dare to discuss widely disseminated information of that nature regarding a conservative candidate — in other words, if political viewpoints are more important to you than the truth — this may not be the blog for you.

UPDATE: Steven L. Taylor has still more (if you can believe it) on her misrepresentation of her educational background. Sheesh.

Educational Details Misrepresented on LinkedIn Page of . . . Hillary Clinton? (Update: Another Resume for O’Donnell Making Similar Claim About Oxford Has “User Verified” Tag)

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:45 am

That is, unless she didn’t construct the page herself:

I thought Hillary Clinton went to Yale Law School. Clinton claims to have gone to Harvard. But in an investigation conducted by patterico.com, I have obtained the following statement from Harvard Law School spokesman T. Coddington Van Voorhees VII:

Harvard Law School has no student or education record for an individual named Hillary Clinton. Nor would we ever accept a Yalie.

Thanks to reader Y.K., who passes along several other LinkedIn pages he suspects are inauthentic, such as:

  • Joe Biden — Odd capitalization; sparse detail; content not plagiarized from Neil Kinnock
  • Bill Gates — lists Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as having started in 2000 when it was founded (under a different name) in 1994

Y.K. makes a good point: social networking sites can indeed be faked.

Now: Christine O’Donnell’s LinkedIn page was different from the above pages in several important respects. It was far more detailed than any of the above profiles, with an extensive resume and educational history. She had 84 connections to others — far more than any of the above profiles. And when her campaign was initially asked about the inaccuracies, spokespeople did not initially assert that the page was fake.

If you are a candidate who has been accused of misrepresenting her educational history, your spokespeople need to approach you when the media raises further questions along the same lines. If your spokespeople approach you with questions about a page you didn’t create, you need to say so, immediately.

This did not happen. And that makes it a story — one reported in the Associated Press and at the Web sites of the New York Times and Washington Post. Whether it is discussed here at patterico.com or not, this story is being discussed. You can ignore it or not, but it’s news.

As I said last night, if this is not Christine O’Donnell’s profile, someone faked it. That person needs to be exposed. O’Donnell needs to cooperate in exposing the person. The actions may be criminal. She should file a report with the appropriate law enforcement agency and let them take it from there.

I’ll let you know if she does. I don’t know, though. She didn’t file a report in 2008 when political opponents allegedly vandalized her home, so I’m not sure she would file a report over something like this.

I hope she does. We need to find out who the imposter is. Maybe it’s the same person who smeared Hillary with that calumny about Harvard Law School.

UPDATE: Uh-oh.  This resume (noted by a commenter last night) makes a similar claim about Oxford . . . and has a “user verified” tag. (Already noted by Ben Smith at Politico.)

UPDATE x2: A ZoomInfo spokesman claims that the “user verified” tag means O’Donnell verified the information on the ZoomInfo profile herself.  Color me skeptical: how in the world would he know?  ZoomInfo and LinkedIn should be more transparent — for example, they could release the e-mail address used by the person who set up the account.

I am amazed (and yet I’m not) by the people who want me to ignore this.  Joe Biden misrepresented his own academic record and I mocked him unmercifully for it.  Why would O’Donnell deserve different treatment?

9/29/2010

WSJ: Mickey D’s Threatens to Cut Health Insurance for Hourly Workers Thanks to ObamaCare

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:25 pm

Another victory for Big Government Meddling in health insurance:

McDonald’s Corp may cut health insurance for its nearly 30,000 hourly workers unless U.S. regulators waive a requirement of new health care legislation championed by President Barack Obama, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing a company memo.

The restaurant chain is at odds over the new law’s stipulation that so-called “mini-med” insurance plans spend at least 80 percent of premium revenue on medical care, the newspaper said on its website on Wednesday.

McDonald’s told federal regulators in the memo that it would be “economically prohibitive” for its insurance carrier to continue to cover hourly workers unless it receives a waiver to the 80 percent minimum requirement, the Journal reported.

Federal officials say there is no guarantee a waiver will be granted, it said.

The linked story says McDonald’s has told Reuters they won’t be dropping the coverage. I find that internal memos are generally far less accurate than statements to the press, don’t you?

Between that and Barack Obama’s assurance that nobody will lose their health insurance because of ObamaCare, McDonald’s workers can rest easy.

Castle Will Not Wage Write-In Campaign — Plus, Catch the O’Donnell LinkedIn Imposter!!!

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:16 pm

The tidbit about Castle appears in this AP article about the LinkedIn profile that had erroneous claims about her educational background.

Since O’Donnell says the LinkedIn page was not created by her, or anyone acting at her direction, it’s time we uncovered the imposter.  Someone has gone to great lengths to build a lengthy, mostly accurate profile of Ms. O’Donnell, which included subtle puffery about her educational background.  Assuming this person is not Ms. O’Donnell, this is a clever plot, as it feeds into the narrative that she has previously fibbed about her education. If we take Ms. O’Donnell at her word, then whoever perpetrated this travesty is likely an identity thief out to destroy Ms. O’Donnell’s reputation. I assume we all agree that this person must be exposed.

How the imposter got O’Donnell’s spokespeople to initially react as though the profile was hers, I’m not sure. It just goes to show that his or her access to Ms. O’Donnell may be more intimate than anyone imagines.

Meanwhile, O’Donnell’s imposter had 84 connections on her LinkedIn page (which has now been deleted — but don’t worry, there are screengrabs all over the Internet and the cache is still alive here). Perhaps one of those people managed to communicate with the imposter. These communications might reveal something about the imposter’s identity.

LinkedIn should cooperate with authorities and release the information that would identify the perpetrator (such as the e-mail address used).

This all assumes, of course, that O’Donnell will be proactive in helping to expose the wrongdoer. And why wouldn’t she be? If they will do this to her, why stop with this?

I assume O’Donnell has filed or will file a police report alleging some form of identity theft. Let me know when you hear that has happened.

Meg Whitman’s Former Maid: I Worked for Whitman While Illegal and She Knew It (Oh — And Fired Me When She Found Out)

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 5:50 pm

Allahpundit has the rundown, keeping track of the details so I don’t have to.

Slimeball Portrays Opponent’s Quote As the Opposite of What It Was

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:30 am

This is why people hate politicians.

Well, this plus the whole ruining our country thing.

Needed: An Initiative to Get the Death Penalty Working Again

Filed under: Court Decisions,Crime,General — Patterico @ 7:24 am

As I noted last night, a Clinton-appointed judge named Jeremy Fogel has granted a stay of execution in the case of a man convicted of raping and killing a 15-year-old child in 1980.  There is no denying he is guilty.  Yet his execution will be held up until at least next year so that the judge can “conduct an orderly review” of a new execution protocol that the judge admits has not been shown to be deficient — and that the judge admits is superior in several demonstrable ways to a Kentucky protocol found constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The decision points up the need to have different methods of execution available to a condemned man in California, so that illusory deficiencies in one method will not hold up the execution of a clearly guilty man who has committed a monstrous crime.

As I see it, realistic possibilities include:

  • Firing squad.  To my knowledge, the firing squad has never been held unconstitutional anywhere.  Several bullets to the head should produce a rapid and certain death.
  • Gas chamber retrofitted with carbon monoxide.  As far as I know, California’s gas chamber, which formerly used cyanide, is still around and functioning.  Death by cyanide was improbably ruled unconstitutional by Carter appointee Judge Marilyn Hall Patel in the 1990s.  Her decision was affirmed by the Ninth Circus in a decision written by Carter appointee Harry Pregerson, and not appealed. But there is absolutely no reason we can’t retofit the chamber to use a non-painful gas such as carbon monoxide.
  • Overdose of barbiturates.  Even our friend the liberal judge Fogel claims that this would be constitutional. Of course, there are issues: there is currently a nationwide shortage of the drug we used to sedate prisoners, and it could be discontinued almost entirely. Furthermore, the method found hunky-dory today will be declared horribly cruel tomorrow. Best to have several alternatives on the table.

This will have to be done by initiative.  Our Democrat legislature will not vote to authorize new methods of capital punishment.  Nor would any any such law be signed by Jerry Brown if were to be elected Governor.  (I will have more to say about the conduct of the Attorney General in this case in a future post.  Suffice it to say that he has not defended capital punishment in California as he claims he has.)

What we need is someone to bankroll an initiative authorizing these alternatives. Commenter Dana notes that a poll conducted this summer (.pdf) found that 7 in 10 Californians continue to support capital punishment. Citizens don’t want to see it used in every case, but they want it available for the worst of the worst. Over 700 such people currently sit on Death Row. If we don’t fix the situation they will all die of old age.

Albert Greenwood Brown raped 15-year-old Susan Jordan and strangled her to death with one of her shoelaces. The courts say he can’t suffer too much pain when he dies. That’s outrageous enough — but letting him live is more ridiculous. Let’s do what it takes to dispatch this fellow to the fate he deserves.

9/28/2010

Christine O’Donnell Has More ‘Splainin’ To Do

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:32 pm

On her LinkedIn page, Christine O’Donnell lists “Claremont Graduate University” and “Oxford University” in the “Education” section of her bio:

Tonight it is looking as though she will have to explain questions about both. Greg Sargent:

O’Donnell’s LinkedIn bio page lists “University of Oxford” as one of the schools she attended, claiming she studied “Post Modernism in the New Millennium.” But it turns out that was just a course conducted by an institution known as the Phoenix Institute, which merely rented space at Oxford.

What’s more, the woman who oversaw Phoenix Institute’s summer program at Oxford tells me O’Donnell’s claim about studying at Oxford is “misleading.”

By itself, O’Donnell’s Oxford claim might not matter too much. But the larger context is that O’Donnell has already been nabbed fudging her education record not once, but twice. She claimed for several years to have graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson Un[i]versity, but she actually obtained her bachelor’s degree last summer. And in a lawsuit she suggested she was trying for a Master’s degree courses at Princeton — but subsequently acknowledged she hadn’t taken a single Princeton graduate course.

And then there is the listing of “Claremont Graduate University.” Gary Scott, producer for Warren Olney’s shows Which Way, L.A.? and To the Point, says:

I asked CGU’s public relations officer, Rod Leveque, if the school had any record of O’Donnell attending classes there. His response:

In short, no. Claremont Graduate University has no student or education record for an individual named Christine O’Donnell.

In 2002, O’Donnell was listed as a “Lincoln Fellow” at the Claremont Institute, a conservative think tank also based in Claremont. However, the institute is not affiliated with the Claremont Graduate University or any of the other Claremont Colleges.

TPMDC reports the same quote from Leveque.

So there you have it then.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m still lovin’ the “idea” of Christine O’Donnell.

But the actual person has a lot to address here, to put it mildly.

UPDATE: Ben Domenech rises to the defense. (H/t Crank in comments.)

UPDATE x2: O’Donnell says she neither set up the LinkedIn entry nor authorized anyone else to.

Fascinating.  If true, someone independently went to great lengths to set up a flattering profile, without her knowledge or acquiescence, that subtly exaggerated her educational accomplishments.  It would certainly be interesting to learn who would do such a thing and why.

Judge Blocks California Execution

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:16 pm

I told you this morning that this execution isn’t going to happen any time soon. It was clear to me that King Fogel was going to block it. Now he has.

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